There’s no place like home, even underwater, though the eventual happiness here seems more dictated than organic.

SHINE!

A sea creature yearns to live in the sky.

Hoshi is a red starfish with little black eyes and white circles on her cheeks. Every night on the beach, she gazes longingly upward, believing that only as a celestial star can she “shine.” As the sun rises and the tide pulls her back into the water, the text is amusingly explicit about what Hoshi’s environment isn’t actually missing: “ ‘I should be floating among the colorful planets,’ Hoshi [thinks], as she float[s] among the colorful coral”; “ ‘Up there, there are exciting and endless possibilities,’ she explain[s] to the exciting, endless schools of minnows.” McDonnell’s two-part message—that Hoshi’s environment has everything she longs for, and that she can “shine” and be happy simply by deciding to, as an anglerfish explains—is hardly original, and Hoshi’s self-pity (“poor little me…a star stuck in the sea”) feels overdone at her expense. However, the artwork—acrylic, pencil, pastel, and ink on plywood—has some lovely aspects. The stars in the sky seem truly luminescent; the “exciting, endless” school of yellow minnows glides alluringly through green water; and, most inventively, Stoop uses the natural wood grain of her plywood base as beach, undersea sand patterns, and ocean currents.

There’s no place like home, even underwater, though the eventual happiness here seems more dictated than organic. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-26278-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer.

PEPPA'S GIANT PUMPKIN

From the Peppa Pig series

Peppa hopes to join her classmates in a Halloween pumpkin competition in this adaptation of a story from the popular British television program Peppa Pig.

With the help of Granny and Grandpa Pig, Peppa turns her giant pumpkin, which is the size of a compact car, into a jack-o’-lantern. The trio is flummoxed when it comes time to transport the pumpkin to the competition, so they call on Miss Rabbit and her helicopter to airlift the pumpkin to the festivities as Peppa and her grandparents ride inside. Peppa arrives just in time for the contest and wins the prize for best flying pumpkin. The scenes look as if they are pulled directly from the television show, right down to the rectangular framing of some of the scenes. While the story is literally nothing new, the text is serviceable, describing the action in two to three sentences per page. The pumpkin-shaped book and orange foil cover will likely attract youngsters, whether they are Peppa fans or not.

This TV rerun in board-book form has nothing new to offer. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-33922-2

Page Count: 10

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

more